Mountain Bike Suspension
Different Ways to Achieve the Same Goal

Mountain Bike Suspension is an “Obvious Thing” Today
However, There are Different Suspension Systems and Choices

Do you Need them All?...

Once upon a time I was a kid-biker and my back didn’t need any extra comfort. As those happy days are gone, I started thinking about bike suspension.

Does your back and rear end require additional attention on rough trails too?

Learn more about front (fork), seat and rear suspension. Combine them in various ways to make your ride softer.

Bike with only front (fork) suspension is called hardtail (HT) mountain bike. Usually mountain bikes with front and rear suspension system are called full suspension mountain bikes.

Technical Basics
Meet Spring and Damper

If you have a mountain bike suspension, most likely your bike is equipped with two essential parts – spring and damper. They work together as a team letting you ride more comfortable.

Spring, as you can imagine, absorbs shocks and various bumps on your trail. However, with the spring only, your bike would bounce up-and-down like a little rubber ball. So…

Here comes the damper. It eliminates bouncing effect by slowing down the rebound of the spring.

These are basics. You may also be interested in other suspension systems. Such as elastomer-filled or air/oil pressure forks.

Front Suspension

Mountain bike suspension fork is most common shock reducing system on today’s mountain bikes.

You may find different types of shock absorbers made from various materials.


using different shock absorbing technologies. Want to learn more about front suspension systems?

You may be interested in mountain bike forks.

Rear Suspension

Bike equipped with rear suspension usually has a suspension fork too. Naturally, full suspension mountain bikes are considered to be more comfortable. Should you forget hardtails forever?

Not exactly.

Answer depends on your manner of riding. If you prefer efficiency more than comfort, hardtail may be the right choice to you.

However, consider full-suspension if you are taking more extreme trails or even ride downhill.

Important – don’t buy cheap full suspension bike (I mean even cheaper than lower class hardtail).

If you are on budget, you will get a hardtail with better parts and components compared with full suspension bike for the same price.

And then you would like to install…

Seat Suspension

It can be really simple but powerful improvement to your ride. As the seatpost moves up and down, the bumps to your “sitting bones” are reduced.

It won’t replace full-suspension system with “real” rear shock absorber, though, but it is worth your attention.

Anyway, I like seat suspension. It is designed for smoother ride without much of investments.

Although most likely you would like to install suspension on your hardtail mountain bike seat , sure you can add additional seat suspension as a bonus to your full suspension mountain bike.

Stem Suspension (rare thing…)

Stem suspension? Just be informed about its existence. It is not common on mountain bikes.

Stem-suspension is a vibration reducer. So, it could only be helpful on your commuting mountain bike. It won’t replace suspension fork on your off-road challenges.

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